Srilankan potato curry

I have cooked very limited Srilankan dishes so far. The main ingredient for all of these dishes is coconut milk. I am not sure if most of their dishes use coconut milk or it was just a coincidence. But whatever I tried so far were big hits. So when I got this recipe in a Kannada weekly, I tried it immediately.

I keep at least 2-3 coconut milk cans all the time in my pantry. I used to make this coconut milk from frozen/fresh coconut before, but I feel the ready made cans can be very handy when I am busy. This dish turned out to be great. I gave it in my husband’s lunch box along with chapathis. It was a filling and very tasty lunch.

14-15 baby potatoes
1 tea spn chopped/grated garlic
15-16 shallots (tiny onions)
5-6 red chilies
1/2 tea spn fenugreek seeds
3/4 tea spn chili powder
A pinch turmeric
1 and 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract or 2-3 pieces of normal tamarind

Heat oil and fry garlic, onion (whole if they are small, cut into big pieces if they are big). Fry till onions turn slightly brownish.
Add fenugreek seeds and fry for sometime. Add chili powder, turmeric and peeled baby potatoes(if potatoes are big, cut them into two).
Pour in coconut milk, red chilies, salt and tamarind extract/pulp. Close and cook till potatoes are done.
Serve hot with rotis/chapathis.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

30 thoughts on “Srilankan potato curry”

  1. Love Sri Lankan food, all the recipes I’ve tried also use coconut milk abundantly! This potato curry looks very tasty, it will surely be yummy with chapathis!

  2. I’m such a fan of Sri Lankan food! Most of their curries are certainly coconut milk based, but I have tried a sweet-potato dish that had no coconut at all, and mustard greens that had just a hint of grated coconut. Thanks for sharing this potato curry-will be trying it soon!

  3. Looks yummy, similar to Thai and our cuisine, guess due to the use of coconut. I have an opened tin of coconut milk. Thanks for sharing.

  4. 1.5 cups of coconut milk? oh boy!

    We used to use so much coconut. But nowadays in Northern Sri Lanka coconuts are not that abundant. And everywhere the specter of cholostrol has scard away people. 🙂

    Next time, try using plain milk. 2% or whole. Whole usually works better. We rarely use coconut milk in our curries.


  5. Wow…..what a coincidence Shilpa!!!
    I was thinking of making a curry with baby potatoes & so came to check some interesting recipe from your site… surely going to try this one. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Looks mouthwatering.I do have a Srilankan cookbook.Most recipes are similar to Indian dishes.I keep 1-2 cans of coconut milk too,but use frozen ones often.Thanks for this S!:))

  7. hi shilpa,
    it looks yummy and so familiar. just like a very common kind of egg / potato curry made in kerala. it doesn’t have much of a name, just egg / potato curry with coconut milk.(thengappalozhicha kari). you can make this either with boiled eggs alone or eggs with potato. thank god, people in kerala still use coconut milk and coconut, despite all the cholestrol scare !

  8. Though I don’t indulge often, I do love curries cooked with coconut milk. I love the sweet, nutty and milky flavour. It can really elevate the ordinary to extraordinary.

  9. Hi, Love your picture. Though I haven’t tried Sri Lankan food I believe that it tastes or at least looks a lot like the stew recipe Keralites make. It also has coconut milk as base. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Hi Shilpa,

    I am a real fan of your website, but never got around to post any comment. Also I am a Sri Lankan and when I saw this recipe, I thought to comment it out. This is a great dish and I will try this version.

    Yes we do use coconut milk in all of our dishes (because coconut try is available almost in every house)

  11. Shilpa,
    I have heard about Sri Lankan food and how much it is similar to Inidan cuisine but never got a chance to have one. The potato curry looks quick and easy. Loved the presentation as well. Thanx

  12. Thanks to you all for the lovely words. Even though this is loaded with coconut, I bet this is one of the best curries with potatoes in it. I have made it more than once and every time I like it more and more. Do give it and try and let me know if you all like it. Thanks.

  13. I remembered as a kid when i used to go Honavar/Mavinkurve – my mother’s native, my grand mom used to make paala fanasachi phodi. Do we get pala fanas or equivalent in US.

  14. Hi,

    Just made this curry and it tastes awesome!! Just wish that it was a little more healthier (too much saturated fat in coconut milk) so that I could make it more often!

    Thanks 🙂

  15. Hey,

    I stay far from India and this looks like a great recipe. I was wondering if any one here can suggest me a brand for the coconut milk. I have only tried Maggie coconut powder. Is there anything better?


  16. Hey Shilpa,

    This is indeed a tasty and simple recipe. We tried it with dalitoy and rice. Goes very well. Will try with chapathi next time. Thanks for recipe.

  17. Dear Shilpa,
    Great recipe for potato! The recipe is like a keralan dish – mildly spiced and the addition of coconut milk gives it a rich taste. This is very similar to the Tamilian Kurma, with less spice, and can be had with many dishes. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us.

  18. Hi shilpa,
    this recipe is just awesome. made it today!
    i had been to udupi some weeks back, just loved the mangalore buns. do you have the recipe ?


  19. Shilpa,
    I tried this recipe and came out very well. Love all your recipes. Keep up your good work. I am checking you website regularly..Thanks a ton for providing good recipes to satisfy our taste buds

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